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Four Gamecocks Named to Preseason Coaches All-SEC Teams
Football  . 

Four Gamecocks Named to Preseason Coaches All-SEC Teams

Aug. 23, 2017

Four University of South Carolina football players combined for five spots on the 2017 Preseason Coaches All-SEC Football Teams, it was announced today.

Tight end Hayden Hurst and linebacker Skai Moore garnered first-team recognition, while offensive lineman Zack Bailey and Deebo Samuel were named to the third-team unit. Samuel was selected as both a wide receiver and as an all-purpose back.

Hurst, a 6-5, 250-pound junior from Jacksonville, Fla., put together a record-setting 2016 campaign. The former professional baseball player and walk-on to the Carolina program, hauled in 48 passes for 616 yards in 2016, both high-water marks for a Gamecock tight end. A member of the 2016 SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll, Hurst was also named a team captain, the first sophomore in school history to earn that distinction, and was selected as the Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student-Athlete Representative at the 2017 Garnet & Black spring game. A Mackey Award Watch List candidate, Hurst was a preseason first-team All-SEC pick by Athlon and a second-team selection by the media.

Moore, a 6-2, 218-pound senior from Cooper City, Fla., returns to the gridiron this fall after missing the 2016 campaign following neck surgery. The most decorated player on the roster, Moore led the team in tackles in each of his first three seasons at Carolina and was a 2015 team captain. He was on the Coaches SEC All-Freshman team in 2013, was the 2014 Independence Bowl Defensive MVP, and earned second-team All-SEC honors in 2015. Moore is on the preseason watch list for the Bednarik Award, the Butkus Award and the Nagurski Trophy, and was a preseason second-team All-SEC pick by the media and Athlon.

Bailey, a 6-6, 311-pound junior from Summerville, S.C., is regarded as the Gamecocks’ top offensive lineman. A member of the Coaches SEC All-Freshmen Team in 2015, Bailey has played in every game over the past two seasons, making 18 career starts. He made the transition in the spring from left guard to right tackle, and is penciled in as a starter at that position this fall.

Samuel, a 6-0, 215-pound junior from Inman, S.C., earned Steve Wadiak Co-Most Valuable Player honors for the Gamecocks in 2016 after leading the team with 59 receptions for 783 yards, despite playing in just 10 contests. An all-purpose performer, Samuel also rushed 15 times for 98 yards and six touchdowns and returned 16 kicks for a 26.9-yard average, including a 100-yard touchdown return against Western Carolina. Samuel is on the preseason watch list for the Biletnikoff, Hornung and Maxwell awards. He was a preseason third-team All-SEC pick by the media, while Athlon tabbed him as a first-team all-purpose back and a second-team kick returner.

2017 Preseason Coaches All-SEC Football Team (* – ties)

First Team Preseason All-SEC


TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

OL Braden Smith, Auburn; Martez Ivey, Florida; Jonah Williams, Alabama; Ross Pierschbacher, Alabama

C Fran Ragnow, Arkansas

WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M; Calvin Ridley, Alabama

QB Jalen Hurts, Alabama

RB Derrius Guice, LSU; Nick Chubb, Georgia

AP Christian Kirk, Texas A&M


DL Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama; Da’Ron Payne, Alabama; Marquis Haynes, Ole Miss; Trenton Thompson, Georgia

LB Arden Key, LSU; Skai Moore, South Carolina; Roquan Smith, Georgia

DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama; Armani Watts, Texas A&M; Duke Dawson, Florida; Ronnie Harrison, Alabama


PK Daniel Carlson, Auburn

P JK Scott, Alabama

RS Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

Second Team Preseason All-SEC


TE Isaac Nauta, Georgia

OL Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State; K.J. Malone, LSU; Koda Martin, Texas A&M; Paul Adams, Missouri*; Greg Little, Ole Miss; Isaiah Wynn, Georgia*

C Will Clapp, LSU

WR J’Mon Moore, Missouri; Antonio Callaway, Florida

QB Nick Fitzgerald, Mississippi State

RB Kamryn Pettway, Auburn; Bo Scarbrough, Alabama

AP Derrius Guice, LSU


DL Cece Jefferson, Florida; Marlon Davidson, Auburn; Jabari Zuniga, Florida; Denzil Ware, Kentucky*; Dontavius Russell, Auburn*

LB Jordan Jones, Kentucky; Rashaan Evans, Alabama; Tre’ Williams, Auburn

DB Donte Jackson, LSU; Dominick Sanders, Georgia; Carlton Davis, Auburn; Tray Matthews, Auburn


PK Gary Wunderlich, Ole Miss

P Johnny Townsend, Florida

RS Evan Berry, Tennessee

Third Team Preseason All-SEC


TE C.J. Conrad, Kentucky*; DeAndre Goolsby, Florida*

OL Jashon Robertson, Tennessee; Jawaan Taylor, Florida; Zack Bailey, South Carolina; Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas

C Bradley Bozeman, Alabama

WR Deebo Samuel, South Carolina; Jauan Jennings, Tennessee

QB Austin Allen, Arkansas

RB Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt Benny Snell, Kentucky

AP Brandon Powell, Florida*; Deebo Samuel, South Carolina*; Kerryon Johnson, Auburn*; Trevon Diggs, Alabama*


DL Terry Beckner, Jr., Missouri; Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia; Christian LaCouture, LSU; Marcell Frazier, Missouri

LB Oren Burks, Vanderbilt; Shaun Dion Hamilton, Alabama; Lorenzo Carter, Georgia

DB Anthony Averett, Alabama; Mike Edwards, Kentucky; Chauncey Gardner, Florida; Ryan Pulley, Arkansas


PK Austin MacGinnis, Kentucky*; Eddy Piniero, Florida*

P Trevor Daniel, Tennessee

RS Antonio Callaway, Florida